CONTRIBUTIONS OF UTHUMAN DANFORDIO IN THE SPREAD OF ISLAM IN WEST AFRICA

CONTRIBUTIONS OF UTHUMAN DANFORDIO IN THE SPREAD OF ISLAM IN WEST AFRICA

The 19th century was a period when Islamic performance and the spirit were renewed so as to give Islam a new look. This was done through peaceful means and where it failed, force was applied.




Among the people who revived Islam was UthumanDanfordio who was born Malata a place fond in Hausa land which is the present day Nigeria Uthuman was born in 1754, his father was a scholar, who taught him the Holy Quran and at a later stage, he was admitted into the  Qadiriyah  Suffi order  or Brotherhood.

Uthuman graduated from the Qadiriyah Suffi order as a Sheikh and as a Muslim scholar. He preached Islam to the people of his area and due to his works, he got a large following especially from among the Hausa people who suffered all sorts of oppression under the leadership of chiefs and kings who were nominal Muslims and had ignored the Islamic principles of administration.




Uthuman on several occasions demanded that Hausa rulers observed moral and spiritual values. He publically condemned their practices and unjust systems of administration. Because of this, many leaders never liked him and he was declared a public enemy.

Being diplomatic, Uthuman discouraged the use of violence and that’s why he signed the treaty with the sultan of Gabir who was called Bella and he accepted to great freedom of worship, to reduce taxes and free Muslim prisoners.

Because of his diplomatic schools, Uthuman earned fame among the Hausa people when he tried to fight for their freedom and because of that many of the kings and chiefs look at him as a threat to their thrones. This kings tried to Uthuman a situation that led to the wide spread uprising in Hausa land. This uprising was composed of the Fulani and the Hausa peasants who felt over taxed and oppressed by their leaders.




Uthuman found himself commanding the largest state in West Africa. (The Fulani Empire) and he worked hard to establish an efficient government grounded in Islamic law. He retired in 1815 passing the title of sultan to Muhammad Bello.

POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS OF UTHUMAN

  • Uthuman fought illiteracy and promoted enlighten. As a result, he graduated a number of people in Hausa land which helped him fight colonialism from the time it was introduced in West Africa and to some extent the colonialists were failed.
  • Uthuman helped in building confidence among oppressed people by abolishing some taxes. He went ahead to unite them, he gave them peace and hope and the same time he inspired them to realize their potential in social, political and economic fields.
  • Uthuman established many learning Centres were he conducted lessons to his people. At the same time he wrote many books on Islamic history Hadith and Islamic Juris prudence. The books he wrote are referred to while interpreting law in Nigeria.




  • Uthuman was a champion of women emancipation. He always advocated for women’s rights and freedom. In an exemplary, he educated his daughters and instructed them in strict Islamic behaviors and practices.
  • Uthuman popularized the Malik School of law in West Africa which helped in establishing uniform Sharia in the Caliphate and it helped much in the development of Islam in West Africa.
  • Uthuman introduced a system of administration which was following Sharia requirement e.g. he set up consultative councils / Shuura councils which helped the governors of different provinces to manage their territories in accordance to Islamic requirements.
  • Uthuman was so generous he liked his people so much more especially the poor, the weak, the needy and the oppressed. He used to cater for them by giving them essential facilities like shelter, medical care, food etc and because of this, many people converted to Islam a situation that promoted Islam as a religion.




  • Uthuman promoted the Qadiriyah Brotherhood a factor that led to unity of his people. At the same time, he used the doctrines of the Qadiriyah Suffi orders to promote Islam as a religion and indeed during his term of office, many people converted hence developing and reviving Islam.

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